Have you noticed where your mind goes? Is it in the future, past or present?
Sometimes I find it beneficial to see thoughts as energy and where that energy is spread. If thoughts are in the past then we are energetically torn between the present moment and also reliving a time in the past which is also running in the present moment on top of all of the other stimulus that is actually in the present moment. Almost like trying to live two lives in the same present moment with a feeling of separation between the two. Which sounds exhausting and a little uncomfortable to say the least.
As exhausting and uncomfortable as that sounds I spent a large portion of life living that way. Completely unawares that it was happening or that there was any other way to live.
As humans the majority of thoughts going through a lot of peoples minds are the same thoughts running over and over again every day. Creating the same chemical releases within the brain and body.
By taking the mind to a place in the future or past it can dodge and avoid feeling things in the present but ultimately those things are going to get felt at some point.
I wonder if avoiding the present is to avoid a perception of reality which doesn’t match a belief or expectation.
All of our feeling is in the present so it is understandable that people maybe don’t want to be here to feel it.
The thoughts and fears of the past and future are felt in the present though so is it really avoiding pain and suffering by living in the thoughts of another time. When our thoughts are somewhere other than the now this also leaves space for other things to creep in. It creates room for the untruth to become believable.
Pain is what brought me into the present. An inability to get away from pain. One of the things my mind would do anything it could to avoid was the one thing that brought me back to the centre of it all. I remember vividly a meditation where the pain in my spine was so strong and every trick and technique that I could find just wasn’t enabling me to escape. So with a feeling a complete anger and defiance I went as deeply and presently as I possibly could in that moment. I felt into that pain with every fibre of my being.
What happened next opened up a whole new curiosity in me. In about five minutes that pain dissolved. I could still feel my injuries but the extreme pain and resistance to it was gone.
An hour later the pain returned but this time my awareness of it had completely changed. Around this same time I also was doing a lot of practice with Heart Math and using a bio feedback device to measure my heart rate variability and what I was finding was each time my mind drifted off to somewhere else than the present moment my HRV would drop. This would mostly happen without me being that aware but I would see my HRV level drop drastically. This became an incredible training tool for me and my mind. I now knew my mind had drifted off before I was consciously aware of the thoughts off playing or suffering somewhere else.
The saying where your attention goes your energy flows had new meaning for me. I was in dire need of healing and I knew that more energy within my being in the present helped to speed up my healing. So each time my mind went off somewhere else I would bring it back.
If I was looking for a way to get used to the feeling of failure then this practice was exceptional at providing just that. I quickly learnt that personal forgiveness and acceptance was needed in bucket loads to deal with this new awareness of the conditioning in my mind.
I have spent the years since consistently training myself to to be more present. When emotions or trauma presents itself this can become more challenging. Then once that is processed and integrated willingly back to present I go. In fact I know that the fasted way to move thought emotion is to go to the present. As emotion presents the tendency may be to want to get away from feeling it and although this can help a little to lower the suffering, that emotion is still there waiting. By being present with emotion it can be processed in a matter of seconds in some cases and then the energy trapped within it is released back into your body to be used for other things.
Other times it takes longer and more strength to be present is required, but the rewards are beyond those of the material world.
Our now moment is all that we ever experience, and to have as much awareness and energy in this moment gives one the highest opportunity for progress and fulfillment. It will mean facing fears and situations head on but it also allows much of the illusion to be stripped away. The alternative is having your energy spread all over the place in the past and future which in many cases in repetitive cycles.
It takes practice and commitment but you have done it before. Everyone will remember a time when they were so fully in the moment. Where time stood still and everything felt so real and full. Maybe it was the birth of a child, the exhilaration of a sport, the beauty of a piece of art, a mouthful of food. This isn’t some magic trick that is only available to a few people.
The present moment is something for all that opens a whole new world.